Organisers of the Freedom Flotilla 2 have refuted claims made by the Israeli military on Monday that participants in the flotilla plan to use violence in resisting Israeli military plans to board the vessels. The organisers say that the passengers of the flotilla, due to leave this week, have signed declarations of non violence in advance of the journey. Organisers of the upcoming Freedom Flotilla 2 ‘Stay Human’ have rejected claims made by Israeli military officials on Monday that participants in the flotilla were storing chemical substances such as sulphur in anticipation of violent clashes with the Israeli military. Organisers said that any information the Israeli military had regards individual passengers should be passed on to them.
Israeli military sources claim that members of the Turkish organisation that recently pulled out of the flotilla, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), will instead sail on other participating ships and intend on creating violence.
Nine members of the IHH were killed on board the Mavi Marmara during last years Freedom Flotilla when the Israeli military boarded the ship in international waters. The group were pressured to withdraw from this years flotilla by the Turkish government and regional developments linked to events in Syria.
Participants of the flotilla have come under huge pressure from local governments and Israeli threat in recent days and weeks. Threats issued to participants include a warning against travel to Gaza by sea issued by the US State Department as well as a threat by Israeli officials, recently withdrawn, that Israel would hand down 10 year bans on journalists found participating in the flotilla.
Ships set to participate in the flotilla have been targeted in Greece by local port authorities for investigation following complaints as to their sea worthiness made by a pro Israeli US religious organisation. The Greek/Norwegian/Sweden ship has also had its propeller cut on Monday night in what they claim was an act of deliberate sabotage.
Organisers have not given an exact date for the departure of the flotilla but it is expected it will be in the immediate few days ahead.